Commentary Archive

A closer look at the 2015 Maui Invitational field, bracket

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The 2015 Maui Jim Maui Invitational field has been known for a while, but the bracket for the late November tournament was just revealed earlier this week.

This year’s field includes four of the top 10 winningest programs in college basketball history (Kansas, St. John’s, UCLA and Indiana) and a combined 20 national championships.

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: July 21

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), via email, submitted on our premium forum and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.

Zachary Farmer on Facebook writes: When do you believe the Maui Invitational schedule will be released? I’ve heard early August was the most likely.

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: July 6

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), via email, submitted on our premium forum and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.

Zachary Farmer on Facebook writes: Everyone talks about what Troy (Williams) and James (Blackmon) need to do this off season, but not Robert Johnson. What must he improve this off season besides turnovers?

Fantastic question. Johnson has looked great physically in the offseason workout videos, but skill development is going to be equally important for him to reach his ceiling. His jump shot definitely needs to become more consistent. He was 38.8 on 3s as a freshman, which is very good, but just 29.4 percent on 2-point jump shots.

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Five Big Ten impact newcomers for 2015-2016

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The Big Ten is shaping up to be an elite league next season and while the league lost plenty of talent to graduation and the NBA, an infusion of McDonald’s All-Americans and transfers will ease the loss of stars like Frank Kaminsky and D’Angelo Russell.

In no particular order, here’s a look at the five newcomers we expect to make the biggest impact on next season’s conference race:

· Eron Harris, Michigan State: The Indianapolis native flew under the radar for much of his prep career at Lawrence North, but a strong summer in 2011 landed him interest from West Virginia and he signed with the Mountaineers. After a pair of seasons in Morgantown, including 2013-2014 where he averaged 17.2 points per game, Harris opted to transfer to Michigan State.

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Offseason storylines: Is Troy Williams in line for another leap?

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Welcome to offseason storylines, a look into some of the biggest storylines surrounding the 2015-2016 Indiana Hoosiers. First up, a detailed look at rising junior Troy Williams — his game, his numbers, his future and the possibility of another big leap as a junior. 

If the title here looks familiar, it’s because a post with a similar title was penned last June. At the time, Williams was coming off a freshman season with mixed results, but there was plenty of optimism for what he might become in his second collegiate season.

A year later, Williams appears on the cusp of a breakout after a sophomore season full of improvements. At the recent Nike Skills Academy, Williams was already being discussed as a player who could find himself with a guaranteed NBA contract a season from now.

But there’s still plenty of room for growth for a player who has the talent to land in the first round of next June’s NBA draft. In fact, according to Williams’ uncle, Boo Williams, there were teams willing to consider him in the first round of this year’s draft, but that wasn’t assurance enough to convince him it was time to go.

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Ranking the top 10 players of the Tom Crean era

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It’s late June, recruiting won’t heat up until a couple of weeks into July and thus, there’s finally some time to dig into one of the list ideas we’ve been kicking around in recent weeks for offseason content. 

As we enter season eight of Tom Crean’s time in Bloomington, it’s time for our ranking of the top 10 players to play for the Hoosiers in his tenure:

10. James Blackmon Jr. (2014-present)

It will interesting to see where Blackmon Jr. ultimately ends up if this list is reexamined when his career is over. But as it stands, it’s hard to warrant placing him higher given that he’s played just one season. Still, Blackmon Jr. accomplished a lot offensively in his first season. He ranked sixth in the country among all freshman in scoring at 15.7 points per game and was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection. He also set the freshman record for 3-pointers made in a season (77), breaking a mark set by Eric Gordon. If Blackmon Jr. continues the scoring pace he exhibited as a freshman and stays until he’s a junior, he’s going to go down as one of the better backcourt scorers to ever play for the Hoosiers.

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Freshman Focus: O.G. Anunoby

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“Freshman Focus” is an Inside the Hall series on each of Indiana’s three incoming freshmen where we take an in-depth look at all three newcomers. Today the series concludes with a look at O.G. Anunoby. (Previously: Thomas Bryant, Juwan Morgan)

Thomas Bryant comes to Bloomington as the prize of Indiana’s 2015 recruiting class and with accolades like being a McDonald’s All-American and a Jordan Brand All-Star. Juwan Morgan built a national profile last year as he won the most improved player award on Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit.

IU’s third incoming scholarship freshman, O.G. Anunoby, doesn’t have a top 100 ranking like Bryant or Morgan, but was a late riser whom the Hoosiers hope will develop into a rotation stalwart in the years to come.

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